A/N: Another part-finished one that I discovered and finished today. Inspired by the song Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar. Enjoy.
Spoilers for S2. I don't own anything.
I think I'm going to die…
My own words repeat in my head. It's a rather obvious statement. I will die. One day. I can't quite erase the expression on Molly's face from my mind. I focus instead on the rhythmic pounding of the rubber ball against the cupboard door because it sounds so much clearer than anything else forcing itself into my thoughts.
I thought I was ready. I thought that this would be easy, that I'm being clever and yet no one will expect this…
No one except John. He knows me, inside and out. There's only so long I can play him before he senses something is wrong.
The scene plays out neatly in my head, as if I'm watching it from above. Ready, waiting for the final curtain. John plays his part so well, without even realising it. Suddenly he's heading for the door, and my final scene has come all too soon.
"Alone is what I have. Alone protects me." Cushioning the blow. Take this, John; this last piece of advice you may ever get from me.
"No. Friends protect people."
I watch him walk away, and I doubt myself; for the first time in such a long time I doubt whether I am right.
Dying should be easy. One only has to do it once. I open my eyes to the harsh light of the morgue and my own inhale echoes in the sterile room; a sure sign that I am alive. I sit up quickly, my head pounding, at the scale of what I've done. My right hand still feels the echoing weight from my mobile phone, clasped so tightly only minutes ago.
I didn't think I would feel like this. I've cheated death before, and felt the exhilarating rush of knowing that I am still here. This time is different. I feel hollow. Perhaps a part of me has died after all.
Molly clears her throat and attempts a strong voice.
"Let me get you cleaned up."
She begins to wipe gently at my hairline, and I stare at the crimson stains on the cloth. My blood; taken only hours before by Molly's hand. It hadn't been trembling then.
"Are you ok?"
"I'm alive," I find myself saying. She doesn't smile.
"That's not what I asked."
I think I could fall apart if I think about it so I simply shake my head.
Molly busies herself around me, and I want to ask her to be still. I can't think. All I can hear is my own pulse, beating smugly in my ears and for a brief moment I wish it would stop.
Molly suddenly passes a half-empty drink bottle to me.
"Drink it," she insists. I obey. It's flat, warm and sweet, but I empty the bottle. It only takes a few moments for me to feel the sugar inside of me. On wobbly legs, I stand.
"Molly." She pauses mid-task. Perhaps she knows what I am about to ask. Her back is to me, but her shoulders are hunched in apprehension. I take a deep breath to strengthen my voice. "Molly, I need you to go to the roof. I need you to…You'll have to remove the body."
She's shaking her head before I've finished talking.
"No, no, no." She is less insistent, rather panicking. I find myself grabbing her shoulder forcefully and spinning her around. She is crying. It's not the first time I've made Molly Hooper cry, but it is the first time I've witnessed it; the first time it has felt something.
"Please, do this for me." How many times have I asked for her help? Wonderful Molly Hooper. Of course she will.
She leaves the room quickly, and without a word. As the door clicks to, I imagine her retracing my steps, up the stairway, through the door and onto the roof. The wind has picked up, and the rain has become heavier. I think of it mixing with the pool of my own blood on the pavement below. Oh, John. For a long moment, my heart stops.
When the door reopens I allow a small smile to myself for startling at the sound. As my eyes fall on her, I know what she will say before the words leave her mouth.
He's not there.
My mind is screaming as the adrenaline is wearing low, and I can't bring myself to consider what that means. Not yet, anyway.
"Sherlock," she says my name quietly, as if the word is already taboo. "If you're to do this, you need to go, now. John…"
"He won't come here."
"Of course he will," she snaps, her cheeks flushing with the strain. "Of course he will. Stupid, stupid man."
I watch her scrabbling within her lab-coat pocket, hanging limply on the back of the door. She retrieves a phone, it's cheap and basic, but it's not traceable. She presses it into my hand.
"Did Mycroft give you the passport?"
She nods solemnly and passes it over.
"Where will you go?"
I fail to answer. The less she knows, the better. One look at John Watson's shattered life and she could tell everything to fix him again. She wouldn't be her if she didn't.
"Look after yourself," she pleads.
"Look after him," I reply. "Please." I mean it. It's as close to begging as I'll ever get, in all of my life. She nods. Hot, heavy tears are dripping down her face. I've seen enough.
She reaches out to me and I flinch, before relaxing into her tight embrace.
"Go," she insists, pushing me away. I'm suddenly the other side of the door, and feeling alone.
Death is a lonely place. Alone is what I have, and alone will protect him.